There are some truly important and different ideas in this book about managing your career and managing a company. All tied together, however, those moments account for only about an hour of this book. The rest comes across as a self-congratulatory ode to Jack Welch and GE. It gets more than a little old in a hurry.
I have read a number of books this year on managers' lives. None has so much passion and emotion as this one.
Two salient features of this audiobook are:
1. Jack Welch's passion is definitely one of the drivers of his life, and without which one cannot do much in one's life. Passion is a necessity for every manager, a requirement, a trait that defines manager.
2. Richness of ideas. So many of them. And I think the passion and the number of ideas are linked.
It is a "rich" book.
I highly recommend it!
I liked the way he has talked in detail about his professional work. We can get an insight into how multinationals think and work. Also I had more peep into his famous act of "Firing bottom 10%" of the workforce and why he was doing that.
I think the title perfectly portrays the contents of the book. There is no need to change the title. If I am asked to change the title I will call it as "Straight Talk"
Be ready to either read or listen to very very long story.
I enjoyed learning about this remarkable man and how he went straight to the top.
Definitely not, I don't give a fig for Jack Welch's personal life. I expected to hear about how he made GE work better, not how he threw his family over because he grew apart from them, his sleeping habits with a woman much younger than himself, his mother and father, row home living , and how he was just a regular guy.
HOW DID HE MAKE GE work better. IMO it wasn't there. Sounded to much like a "come clean and get all this off my chest" story instead of the get it done mechanics of making a bureaucratic intense organization -- that does stupid, cost inefficient things all the way up the food chain --work at the root.
Mr. Barnicle did a good job of reading,.
The parts that really talked to the very dramatic reorganization and restructuring of GE. Can't deny that part the guy got right and GE employees were the big winners; they had good jobs and were part of something great for awhile. But, I have to add -- I know an appliance repair man that wouldn't give a dollar for GE products; of course that's now -- not when "Hatch" was at the wheel.
This book is a must-have for the career professional. Not everyone is willing to make the all-out sacrifice to be CEO of a global organization, but there are plenty of take-aways for everyone who is building a career and a life.
Jack Welch has been a role-model for the way I think and behave since I first heard of differentiation. I actually resigned from a position when I realized that I was in the bottom 10% of an organization and moved to a place where I could be firmly in the critical 70%. Now, I am examining what it takes to be in the top 20% of my discipline so that my contributions are long-lasting and meaningful.
If you buy one business book this year - this is the one.
I would like to read it again the next decade. After 10 years of work experience Im sure it will bring a different view of a bussines.
The best part of the audio version is how Mike transmits the passion for the bussines that Jack Welch surely had. In several parts the book gets hard to follow because he is so exited telling what happened in certain meeting or in certain problem that he speeds up the story. But at the same time, is so contagious that makes you want to become the next GE's CEO
One of the best I've listed so far. Content wise it is the distilled knowledge of a great CEO. The narrator managed to deliver the passion of the man.
If you have any interest in becoming a better professional, just read it.
I was initially skeptical that I could listen to a business autobiography (vs reading it) as I usually only listen to fiction. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. First, Jack Welch was a character, and all of his good points come across in a light, entertaining and informative manner. (You hear about some failures also, but there's a lot more time spent on the positives -- not surprising, as it's an autobiography.) Second, there is a lot to take away from his experience if you run a business or manage people. Third, it is well narrated -- I especially liked that the narrator has an accent appropriate for representing a Massachusetts native (as Jack Welch is).
The focus is extremely heavy on his professional life and his personal life gets little mention, which I personally liked, but that may not be for everyone.